The European Scientific Diving Panel
The purpose of Scientific Diving (SD) is the undertaking and delivery of underwater science. SD supports professional research and education as well as the protection, conservation and monitoring of the natural and cultural environment. SD is a highly-productive, cost-effective research tool. It is neither recreational nor commercial diving. It provides the technical capability to be an “intelligent monitoring system”, greatly extending the possibilities of ship supported/based monitoring techniques. Scientific diving exists in a health and safety framework that involves certified scientific divers, diving officers, scientific project leaders, heads of laboratories, administrators and legislators. The most of SD throughout Europe is done in connection with marine research institutes and stations.
The European Scientific Diving Panel
The European Scientific Diving Panel (ESDP) is the European platform for the advancement of underwater scientific excellence and to promote and provide a practical support framework for scientific diving at a European scale. The ESDP was initiated in 2008 as a European Marine Board Panel (until April 2017) and currently is receiving organizational support from the European network of Marine Stations (MARS).
At present delegates of 12 countries are participating in the panel, chaired by Jean-Pierre Féral (IMBE, FR).
The ESDP focuses on:
1. Operational and safety issues related to scientific diving (capacity building – standards, guides and documents)
2. Highlighting the usefulness of Scientific Diving as a feasible, cost effective and safe tool for research (dissemination activities)
3. Encouraging international mobility in the European scientific diving community
1. Capacity building
ESDP is a focused and technical panel which delivers concrete outputs in the form of European scientific diving standards and consultation documents, which are currently available for download on the following topics (registration required):
– Common Practices and EU Competency levels
– Delivery of science through diving
– Scientific Diving from large Research vessels
ESDP is currently working on:
– Scientific Diving medical examinations in Europe, USA and New Zealand – lead M. Sayer, UK
– Scientific Diving requirements facilitating safe mobility of scientific divers within Europe – lead J.-P. Féral, FR
– The benefit and use of rebreathers in Scientific Diving – lead A. Norro, BE
2. Dissemination of results obtained by scientific diving
A recent survey carried out at a European scale) demonstrated that from 2011-2015 over 60 articles published in journals with ISI Impact Factor of 5 or higher (covering disciplines like Ecology, Climate Change/Ocean Acidification, Science-based Archaeology, Geochemistry, Polar Biology, Conservation Biology and Genomics) have been based on indispensable scientific diving activities.
Such initiative will be repeated in the near future.
News and Events (visit ESDP website)
- Due to the covid-19 pandemic, face-to-face meetings are difficult/not possible. As day-long meetings by videoconference are not always as efficient a solution as desired, it was decided to hold shorter meetings at shorter intervals on a small number of agenda items. The next meeting (26th ESDP meeting), via videoconference, is scheduled for 20th January 2021 on the subject of ISO standardisation of ESD and AESD (Advanced European Scientific Diver) standards.
- December 2020, members of the ESDP were invited as panellists in the framework of the Online Workshop – Capacity building and harmonization of scientific diving in Europe [ScienceDIVER : Cross-sectoral skills for the blue economy market (Project id : 863674 – EMFF Blue Economy 2018 – Blue Careers],
webinar 01 : Acknowledgment of Scientific Divers. (Piotr BalazyScientific Diving – the example of IO PAN, Poland (PDF)),
webinar 02 : Legal Framework for Scientific Diving. (Jean-Pierre FéralLegal aspects of Scientific Diving (PDF) and Massimo PontiScientific Diving in Italy, the legal framework (PDF) ).
- The 25th ESDP meeting was scheduled in Riga (Latvia). However, as a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic, it took place by videoconference on the 22nd October 2020.
- The 24th ESDP meeting took place by videoconference on the 27th February 2020. Minutes
- The 23rd ESDP meeting was held at the Museum national d’Histoire naturelle de Paris, France on the 25th October 2019, from 10:00 to 16:30.
- For the 22nd ESDP meeting, delegates have been participating via video-conference on the 13th May 2019, 10:00 to 16:00. The virtual room was in Germany, managed by P. Fischer.
- The 5th International German-Swedish-Finish European Scientific Diving (ESD) Training Course 2019 has been held in two parts from April 1st – April 12th in Helgoland (Germany) and from April 22nd – May 10th in Kristineberg, Fiskebäckskil (Sweden). Download the announcement
- 21st ESDP meeting, 26th November 2018, Heraklion, Crete [organized back to back with the MARSnetwork directors meeting]. On April 28th, a presentation of ESDP was given by J.-P. Feral, followed by a discussion on how to strengthen the links between MARS and the ESDP.
- 20th ESDP meeting, 4th May 2018, Stockholm, Sweden [ESDP became a panel of the MARSnetwork].
- 19th ESDP meeting, 26th October 2017, Brussels, Belgium
- 18th ESDP meeting, 11th April 2017, Marseille, France [last meeting under the EMB umbrella)
For more information: see the ESDP website.
For more information please contact ESDP.
Monitoring of coralligenous assemblages – NW Mediterranean. © F. Zuberer
SD in extreme environments – Austral Ocean, Terre Adélie © D. Dellile
Sampling a geothermal spring © G. Caramanna
Inspection and monitoring to ensure the good functioning of a lander – North Sea. © M. Sayer